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Shared resources -History

Hi from Paul the History Tutor - those of you that teach history know that it covers a lot of topics, in one day I can be teaching Mao and the Cultural Revolution, then move to Henry VII, the causes of the American Civil War, the Chartists, GCSE Medicine and the Holocaust - that would not be unusual. Add in differing exam boards and GCSE v A level and it keeps me busy. Where do you go to for extra specialized knowledge? Recently I took out a subscription to History today and specifically the archive. This has given me access to everything ever published in that journal.

In terms of free access I find the LOC - Library of Congress is amazingly useful and not just for US history, I use Spartacus Educational a lot , the National Archives, History.com and the History Learning Site. There are also some specialist German Museum site but they are my secret stash. Really do recommend History today archive - aiming to claim the subscription as work related expenses with my accountant!
Paul Hallett

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Hi Paul, I’m Luana.
History is my favourite subject to tutor.
I found that books, movies, documentaries and visits to museums are the best way to teach and make interesting this subject.
I’ll check history today, since you made me curious.
What are your favourite ages of history?
Best Reguards

Luana Farina

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Hi Paul

I am doing a bit of History at present, we’ve looked at history from 1700 and currently doing the abolition of the slave trade in the UK.

History is part of my degree and I was hoping to do a Masters in Celtic Studies in the future but money and time won’t allow it.

Hi how can I help. The maritime museum at Liverpool has a lot of emphasis on the slave trade, look online. Obvious routes are Oludah Equianio’s autobiography but also the leagal challenge. Look up the case of Granville and Jonathon Strong. Slavery had no legal basis in Britain and the few black slaves brought to Britain as servants could challenge slavery. Wilberforce is of course well known but the anti slavery movement was important. Lastly look at the case of the slave ship Zong. All of this is mainstream get back to me if you need more. Thanks from Paul

Hi what got me into history as a 14 year old was the English Civil War. I wanted to know how we ended up executing Charles I as king. We are the nation that us embarrassed if we have to complain and here we are in the 1640’s having a revolution well ahead of the radical French and oppressed Russians. Now my great love is Weimar Germany. Germany after 1918 and before the Nazi’s so much happened in such a few years and there is a cultural explosion as well. Best wishes from Paul

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Hi Paul

It’s strange that when I did my degree(2016) Wilberforce was greatly emphasised for his role in the abolition and there was hardly any talk on others.

I did a lot about the slave ships and yet again nothing on the Zong. Has emphasis shifted since I graduated? Sometimes I feel like people are talking about a completely different thing to what I studied!

Hi Kitty. As with all these things its never one factor or person. The role played by Wilberforce is crucial in Parliament but even there he did not act alone - Thomas Clarkson gathered evidence on the conditions on the slave ships, Alexander Falconbridge testified as a doctor as to conditions on slave ships. The Granville Sharp - Jonathan Strong case is important because it set a legal precedent by setting Jonatan Strong free which other British judges would then follow. Pitt as PM spoke against slavery in Parliament in 1792, working class petitions played a role especially in Manchester (which would grow into a Chartist stronghold in future years). Even Josiah Wedgwood’s famous pottery plaque ‘Am I not a man and a brother’ adorned the walls of many a home. The case of the slave ship Zong was important because again it went to court, sick slaves were thrown overboard and the legal case revolved around whether this was the throwing overboard of goods (or people) its a complex case but created a huge outcry. Olaudah Equiano’s autobiography of his life as a slave was a ‘best-seller’ and a huge influence - similar to Harriet Beecher Stow’s ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ in the USA much later in its impact on society.

So I am not downplaying the role of William Wilberforce but rather putting him into context - in the same way that India’s struggle for independence 1919-47 is more than just Gandhi!

Hope this is of use! follow up some of this if you have the time
best wishes
Paul Hallett
History Tutor and Tutorful History Ambassador

Hi Paul

Thank you for this. Some bought back what I had studied , which is a relief!

My daughter also teaches History, she took her Masters in Ancient History.

I didn’t know we had an Ambassador. I maybe back for further advice!

Regards

Yes the ambassador bit has only just happened. Never worry, all history is interpretation a dialogue between the past and the present that’s why I love it so much. Best Wishes Paul

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Hi everyone!

I graduated with a degree in History in September, specialising in the medieval period (I did my dissertation on espionage in the 15th century). Naturally, this is my favourite period to teach but, unfortunately, the exam boards seem to be stuck in the 20th century so I only really have the chance to get medieval with my year 7s! That being said, I love to teach the various revolutions- English, French, Russian, all of it!

@MusketFifeandDrum I thought it was really interesting when you said you taught the Chartists. I never had the chance to study them until I got to university. But it’s a fascinating period of history and I make sure that I teach it to my year 8s every year when we look at the industrial revolution. It’s a shame it’s not taught in more schools!

With regards to resources, I love TeachIt History. They have some great free resources. Some of them are enough for a whole lesson, others are great for giving me ideas for my own PowerPoints and worksheets. I really recommend that website!

It’s lovely to meet some fellow History tutors! I look forward to speaking to you all some more in the near future!

All the best,
Eleanor

Hi Eleanor - lovely to hear from you - I have been teaching the Chartists quite a bit in the last two years, I love the way there is moral force Chartism v physical force Chartism, its such a modern idea. Also how the Great Reform Act is misnamed because its nothing of the kind, the vast majority still don’t have the franchise and cannot vote. Thanks for the ‘heads up’ on Teachit History - this is what its all about, do stay in touch and get back to me any time
Paul - Tutorful History Tutor (and history ambassador)

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Hi Eleanor

Congratulations on graduating!

I did 1200-1989 in my final year and loved every minute. I feel your frustration at not enough Medieval in KS3/4!

I’ve been doing Animal Farm and the Russian revolution this morning.

I love the Teachit websites although have not managed to actually use any of it yet.

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Thank you so much!

As much as I love teaching the medieval period, I really do enjoy teaching the various revolutions. Russia is probably my favourite but I’m thankful that most schools have at least one on their schemes of work!

If you have any questions about adapting TeachIt resources, please do reach out to me! I’m always happy to help :blush:

All the best,
Eleanor

Developing an evaluative language for history

A common problem that often leads students to private teaching is an inquiry beginning ‘I cannot get higher than level three in my submitted work’. Of course, was we all know the route to progress is greater analysis, students are trapped in a content driven approach and locked into factual content. Its is very easy to say ‘write less, say more’ but that doesn’t explain the path forward for either the higher levels of GCSE or A level where questions that focus on ‘assess the view’ ‘how far does the evidence support’ and ‘how far do you agree with the view’

In looking to empower the student I am always wary of a ‘one size fits all’ approach, I normally ask what the approach of the classroom teacher is, and I am often concerned about overly complex approaches, after all the demands of the question are complex enough and we need to free up students to think not give them more to do.

Remember – mark schemes call for sufficient factual evidence to support an evaluation, sufficient is not extensive!

Here are a few ideas that I regularly use in my teaching – they will be familiar to all, can I say the Hodder education produce very good guides that do all of this and more – take a look on their website!

  • In assessing avoid value by content (VBC) this takes you back into the sources or essay points, students will repeat points already developed.
  • ‘so NOT what does it say – but INSTEAD what does it mean’ (for the historian)
  • Above all significance – this is significant because…

In assessing.

  • This historian focuses on …. Whereas…
  • This example refutes the interpretation that…
  • The significance of this is…
  • This argument rests on the premise that, however….
  • This interpretation can be questioned on the basis that…
  • Greater significance is placed on …. Conversely it can be argued that

As a general rule there should be evaluation throughout. Students will often ask me ‘if I have consistently evaluated my points (factors or criteria) throughout then how do I approach a conclusion?’

‘The wood and the trees’ in the main body of your answer you have been evaluating each factor singly, a conclusion will evaluate IN TOTALITY. A conclusion should emerge from the evaluate comments present throughout – it could be quite short if there is a strong element of analysis present throughout – that takes courage on behalf of the student, knowing when to stop.

We should be looking for approaches that saves time, not demands more of it, time is the greatest enemy in exams and examiners reports frequently lament that lack of planning seen in student’s scripts. A five-minute plan can help the student focus but again many students will plough ahead without one leading to ‘as I have previously said…’

It’s a bit like the cube on TV – SIMPLIFY !

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This is really useful, @MusketFifeandDrum. Something I found useful, both when I was a student and also as a teacher, is asking the question: “how does my evidence prove my point?” One of our jobs as historians is to convince the reader that our interpretation is correct.

Hi Eleanor, thanks for that I shall add that to my list. Paul.

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